Classic Rock Bottom

So the thought of perfection came up this past week, not sure where or why, but I took a note that a good idea for a Hidden Treasures post would be to think about perfect albums. You know, those albums with no filler, every track is special, every track is awesome! If you threw a dart at the track listing theres no chance of it landing on a bad song... you get the idea.... I'm not talking about the biggest blockbusters or the most popular albums at one time or another, but the ones you may may have missed out on. So I wanted to share perfect album hidden treasures this week.

So does the perfect album exist? What is it? And what other albums do you consider "perfect" that we need to know about!



1 - The Last Goodbye

Longtime fans were probably disheartened to hear Rusty Young and Paul Cotton give up any semblance of their country roots on the opening track, "Boomerang," a bracing, heavy rock number (for this band) that didn't sound a great deal like the Poco of previous years. Most of the rest of the album, however, was closer to what one wanted and expected from this band -- "Spellbound" a beautifully lyrical ballad that benefited from Young's instrumental range and his and Cotton's harmonizing, and Cotton's "Barbados" offering similarly alluring musical textures with more of a beat. Cotton's "Heart of the Night," however, dominated everything around it, as one of the most finely crafted songs in the group's history, highlighted by a beautiful sax solo from Phil Kenzie. And then there's "Crazy Love" (composed by Rusty Young), with its soft, ethereal textures, which was a little lightweight for this band but unassuming enough to dominate the adult contemporary charts at the time. Young's "The Last Goodbye" and "Legend" closed out the album on a more thickly textured, higher-wattage note, representing the group's newer sound, the latter with a memorably driving beat that, with "Boomerang," bookended the album.

Opus X

1 - Lean On Me

Opus X is the tenth album (hence the "X") by the Canadian rock band Chilliwack, released in 1982. Producers Bill Henderson and Brian MacLeod received the Juno Award for "Producer of the Year" for their work on the songs "Whatcha Gonna Do" and "Secret Information" from this album. The precedent Chilliwack album Wanna Be a Star had provided the group with its first two U.S. Top 40 hits: Opus X almost continued that success with its lead single: "Whatcha Gonna Do (When I'm Gone)", rising as high as #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite the success of this album, MacLeod and Bryant quit Chilliwack to play full-time with their group The Headpins just after the Juno Awards.


1 - Stand Up

Marathon marked the addition of keyboard player Alan Pasqua and singer Greg Walker's replacement by singer/guitarist Alex Ligertwood in the Santana lineup. Otherwise, the album was notable for consisting entirely of band-written material, although those songs were in the established R&B/rock style evolved on albums like Amigos, Festival, and Inner Secrets. The formula seemed to be wearing thin by now, however, as, even with a Top 40 hit in "You Know That I Love You" (number 35), Marathon became the first Santana album to fall below the 500,000-sales mark necessary for gold record certification. (It has since made the mark.)

Michael Schenker Group
Assualt Attack

1 - Desert Song

Michael Schenker's pairing with former Rainbow wailer Graham Bonnet made perfect sense, since Schenker's facile, classically flavored Euro metal guitar style is a graceful extension of Ritchie Blackmore's innovations. The results on Assault Attack are pleasing; while Schenker predictably delivers top-notch performances, Bonnet's vocals are edgier and more engaging than those of former MSG singer Gary Barden.

April Wine
First Glance

1 - Comin' Right Down On Top Of Me

April Wine is a perfect example of a band that critics loved to loathe in the 1970s and 1980s -- you could fill an encyclopedia with all the negative reviews that First Glance received in 1978. Critics detested commercial hard rock/arena rock items like "Hot on the Wheels of Love," "Roller" and "Get Ready for Love" with a passion, but fans of the Canadian band paid no attention and bought the album anyway. First Glance wasn't meant to be challenging or cutting-edge; April Wine's mission was to pull the listener in with infectious grooves and hooks and enable him/her to escape -- and this album definitely accomplishes those things. One of April Wine's finest releases, First Glance is easily recommended to hard rock enthusiasts.

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I only know one of these album (MSG), and it doesn't seem perfect to me at all. I bought it back in '82, and wasn't really impresed. But as we will soon discover on all our top 10-lists, we all have different taste in what is a bad or good album (newest Plant, perhaps?).

I can't find any hidden perfect albums, so a few perfect albums IMO are:

Physical Graffiti

Exile On Main Street

Led Zep IV


Highway To Hell

Who's Next (I'm sure you agree, Scott)

Cheap Trick (1977)

Van Halen

Screaming For Vengeance



Once Upon A Time (Simple Minds)

The Joshua Tree


Sgt. Pepper

Oh, and I've got a hidden one:

City Boy's "Book Early".

Who's Next is the ultimate Perfect album with ultimate perfect song - Baba O'Riley!  Never to be duplicated...

Some others I deem "perfect":

Kansas--in The Spirit Of Things

Cheap Trick--Cheap Trick ('97)

Lillian Axe--Psychoschizophrenia

Savatage--Poets & Madmen


Porcupine Tree--In Absentia

Raven--All For One

Toto--Falling In Between

Warrior--The Wars Of Gods And Men

Supertramp--Brother Where You Bound

Little River Band--Playing To Win

Alcatrazz--Disturbing The Peace

I forgot

Peter Frampton--Breaking All The Rules

on my list, and there's probably quite a few more but I'll stop there.

I had that Poco album on 8-track. Got it in a cutout bin. As the review says, it started off rockin' and then kinda lost the rock. So i didn't care. Then I listened to a few years later and kinda liked it. Then I didn't listen to it ever again and this is the first time I've heard something other than the hits since way back then. That song is decent, I suppose. Therefore, it is not a perfect album. 

Yeah, Opus X is perfection. 

Not big into Santana during this time in their career. This song really didn't do anything for me, therefore it is not a perfect album.  

Yes, "Assault Attack" is PERFECTION. Michael has never had an album come close to this.

I would consider the followup to this April Wine as definitive and very close to perfection. Of course there's the next album as well, but "Harder.....Faster" is much more of a perfect album than this one, which isn't bad, but pales in comparison to the next two Winey albums. Therefore, it is not a perfect album.

4/5 at one time, 3/5 now.

I cannot give this post a perfect score. It wasn't perfection. You tried, but you failed.  

Another great idea for a play list! But, for me, none of these albums would be "perfect" for me. But if Scott feels they are....then they are perfect. For him. And that's the beauty of music.

Honestly, I dont know if I personally would ever think of any album as perfect. To me, that means more than just every song being good. Or even great. To me, a perfect album is where every single section, or note, of every single song is perfect. And I just dont know that I would call any album perfect. Not even the self titled discs from Big Jim Slade or King Karma.

For me, the closest to perfect I can think of would be "Holy Diver", and "Back In Black". Some UFO might be perfect..."Force It", "Obsession", or maybe "Walk On Water". But I just dont know if even GREAT releases are perfect. But a great idea and post, none the less.

Holy Diver is a great addition to the conversation! A very nice pick!

You know I had 'Rock and Roll is a Vicious Game' queued up and ready to go until someone posted a cover of it the other day, then I had to pick another track, good thing any of them would work!!

Great lists!  Some I need to check out...  Heres some additional ones for me

  • Rush - Permanent Waves
  • Rush - 2112
  • Rush - Moving Pictures
  • Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
  • Kansas - Leftoverture
  • Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac
  • Foreigner - Foreigner
  • Supertramp - Breakfast In America
  • ACDC - Powerage
  • Chicago - 16
  • Dire Straits - Making Movies

Some hidden gems...

  • The Babys - Union Jacks
  • Axe - Offering
  • Lake - Lake
  • Jerry Doucette - Mama Let Him Play
  • Pablo Cruise - A Place In The Sun
  • Triumph - Just A Game
  • The Tubes - Outside Inside

I've got a few here that aren't necessarily hidden, but perfect none-the-less:

Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell

Boston - Boston

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Van Halen - II and Fair Warning

Winger - Pull (this one is hidden)

Guns n Roses - Appetite For Destruction

REO Speedwagon - Hi Infidelity

Journey - Escape

Night Ranger - Dawn Patrol

John Mellencamp - Scarecrow

The Smithereens - Especially For You

Queensryche - Empire

Eagles - Hotel California

Tesla - Mechanical Resonance

Rick Springfield - Living In Oz

Loverboy - Get Lucky

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Damn The Torpedoes

Queen - News Of The World and The Game

Bad Company - Run With The Pack

...and my newest addition:

Big Wreck - Ghosts

Nice list! Agree with everything but Winger and The Smitherweenies...

Smithereens understood.  But is the Winger one you've heard and didn't get, or you haven't heard it?  Just curious.

I thought you weren't looking for blockbusters or popular albums? If not, then these are the two perfect album, ever:

Pink Floyd--The Wall

The Beatles--Abbey Road


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